Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Eczema anyone?

I have eczema, and my skin is extremely sensitive. I was wondering if I should exfoliate.

By definition, eczema is inflamed and irritated skin. You don’t want to do anything active like exfoliating or masking, but do use either a prescription cream (if you have one) or an over the counter cortisone cream until the irritation has gone away.

Even water can irritate skin that has eczema. As wild as that sounds, it’s true. This just exemplifies how sensitive skin with dermatitis is. So doing less while you have this malady is probably the best course of treatment. Don’t neglect your skin care routine, but try to avoid any areas that are sensitive even to your normal skin care products. Use your topical cortisone cream and wait for it to clear up.

The stress factor has to be taken into consideration when judging the time it should take for eczema to clear up. Eczema, like so many things, is a symptom of a bigger problem; the dry skin is just what you are able to see. The skin truly is a window into your internal health. So pay attention! And have patience.

I always tell my clients to use the cortisone cream for at least three days, even if after a day or two the condition improves or clears up. Kind of like a round of antibiotics (usually ten days), the doctor will tell you to keep taking the pills even if you start to feel better before the ten days are up. This way your body will get a full dose of the drug and get over the bug completely with a lesser chance of it lingering— if you take the full round.

I say the same is true for topical cortisone on eczema. If you keep using it for a few days after your problems have cleared up you will better ensure a full recovery without a recurrence. So use the topical treatment for at least 72 hours and then a few more days after the eczema seems cleared up—just to be sure. If you are using a prescription product, follow your doctor’s instructions.

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